51 Different subjects on photography – and I am doing them all:

assorted books on shelf
Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com


On the list of 51 different subjects for photography, this one is an intriguing subject for sure. How to photograph Books?

I have seen only a few photos where books are the main subject, but, as I think about it, there are a few tips on taking photos of books that I think are important:

1- If you are going to take actual photos of a book, or books, make sure you do not use “artificial light” when you take the photo. The reasons are simple:

  • Artificial light creates a false color. Artificial light has a yellow or orange cast to it’s color, thus not giving you a true color of a book or books:
photo of eyeglasses on top of the book
Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com
  • The other reason for taking a photo in daylight instead of artificial light is : If you use artificial light, you will probably get some strange reflection from either the cover or the pages. Use natural light….
  • Which brings up just one more: do not use flash taking photos of books. This looks very amateur, and also has light properties that are harsh.

2- Use different angles to take pictures of books. You could take a picture of the book from above, but it tends to make it look like you were taking a photo of the page itself, copying the page. So, if you can take several different photos of the book or books from an angle, it would be much more pleasing:

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

3- Once you’ve arranged your books you need to find a background that is simple and not too distracting. White or cream, something soft or light should do it! Although you can use any color in your shot as long as it’s one base color, no rainbow prints, please.

This is because you need to make sure your viewers get the instant ‘ color pop’ from the books and not the background, kind of defeats the point if your eyes are drawn to the background and not the books, doesn’t it?

Photo by Ergita Sela on Unsplash – Background is everything. Give it a plain color or something that offsets the book’s color.

4- Finally, if you get a chance to go to a library to photograph the books there, then when you take a photo of the library shelf of books, I think it looks much better if you shoot again on an angle.

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash
light inside library
Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

And finally, there are some creative things to do with books. One of the best photos I have seen with a book in it, is the “Still Photo”:

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

The above photo is totally artistic. Love this way to photograph books.

Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

Taking photos of books can be a good test of your creativity. I invite you to try it. If you would like to share your photos, send them by email to: contact.123photogo@gmail.com We would love to share your photos and successes.

For the finest in book inventory, go to books (click that red link).

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